Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Dilapidated Catskills

Bungalow Colony in Bethel

The snow less winter continues here in Sullivan County. We seem to be stuck in a perpetual November. At this point I hope it continues. We really only have another five or six weeks before real spring weather starts to hit. This is the strangest winter weather I can ever remember though. But for all you global warming pundits—we have already surpassed the snow totals of 1922, and  so far we are averaging a half a degree colder. No I think this just an aberration. Every once in a while you get a year like this. Although I feel bad for those that make their living off the weather, I certainly do not miss the nuisance of snow.

The real estate market chugs along here in Sullivan County. I am slow, but not stopped. I have heard others are busy, but February has always been a quiet month for me, and this year is no different.

My amateur photography distraction has switched over the last few months to the dilapidated. As all of us know, our region was a great draw—beginning right after the Second World War, until the mid seventies, with the peak in the sixties. The Catskills was the place to summer in. However, as the younger generation began to grow up, the allure of the mountains declined. As Max Kellerman put it "You think kids want to come with their parents and take fox-trot lessons? Trips to Europe, that's what the kids want. Twenty-two countries in three days. It feels like it's all slipping away."

And slip away it did. Now we are left with the rotting shells of that past. They dot our landcape--fascinating eyesores of a former generation.

There are many websites devoted to the decaying areas of our county—my favorite being The Vanishing Catskills. (My blog title is a thinly veiled forgery.) I really like Raymon Elozua’s style. I don’t think it is just the black and white either. He captures that strange feeling of desertion and abandonment that is left behind on these properties. Scott Haegner’s "Jennie’s Bed" is also a pretty cool picture. Was it really taken in the cottage where the matriarch of the Borsch Belt passed? Photo

And here are some shots of the Concord.

Although, using only my Coolpx 630, I don’t believe I have captured the same sensation as the other, more talented, I have included a few of my own. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Old Hardware Store in Parksville

Ed's Pharmacy in Parksville

Trailer in Livingston Manor at Sunset

And below are a few of the Paramount Hotel.

There were twenty properties reported as sold in the Sullivan County MLS. Click Here for Listings


  1. Pines resort was known for its wondrous environment packed with the chattering of travelers. Even these days, one can think about wondrous partners calming in its definite posture.

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  2. What ever happened to the Concord? Wasnt that supposed to be the next big thing?